Every business needs a good website to advertise and extend sales. Unfortunately, most of us believe we need to hire a pricey web design company and that price tag intimidates us or is simply out of our reach. Thankfully, this is no longer the case! We can now find website builders and templates all over the internet with designs to match your niche and service industry. Some are even free!
Whether you’re a beginner or have a great background but lack the time, a website builder will save many hundreds of dollars – or more! There is also the WordPress content management system – more powerful but harder to use. So which should you use instead of your bank-breaking web designer? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each!
WordPress and its even more challenging cousin Drupal are worthy of the first discussion – they’re much more flexible than a web site builder but they have a large learning curve. And what is one reason you’re most likely making this decision anyway? You don’t have the money for a developer or the time to learn on your own.
Ease of use
A good website builder is easy to use. Some of the best are Wix and Sitebuilder. Visual interfaces help you drag-and-drop different elements wherever you want them on your website. In contrast, WordPress doesn’t offer a visual page editor. The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface is derived from the website and doesn’t give a beginner an idea of finished or even progressing product. The drop and drag is much easier to use and far less time-consuming, giving more flexibility and options to users at lower levels of skill.
Another reason builders are better is that themes and plugins for WordPress require code tweaking that many of us aren’t confident in. And beginner or expert alike, if you’ve messed with coding, you know after one error, sometimes there is a point of no return. There are also issues with the simplicity of the interface for completely new people to website building.
Then why in the world do we use WordPress?
WordPress can build your in-home floral arranging website to a university page. It’s designed to do a lot of things you don’t need. Some website builders aren’t going to power the sophisticated page a technology upstart needs. Instead, use your pre-made, less customizable templates for small businesses, nonprofits, portfolios, and personal websites.
How much flexibility do you need? Consider your end goal, but if you’re an unconventional type looking for a unique result, consider WordPress. Otherwise, we recommend the easy route to free your time for other tasks.
Themes and Plug-ins
People love WordPress because its user community has created tools to customize your site, extending the functionality in any host of ways. The bad news is they’re inconsistent unless you can code. You’ll find yourself having to edit code in particular themes and versions of WordPress, and often updates regard manual coding all over again.
Good builders have themes and plugins that always work, even if they can’t match the variety of WordPress. The precise reason for this is because its developers are paid and have tested across all templates and versions. What is a benefit to WordPress is also a drawback, considering your needs and resources.
This is often the deal-breaker. WordPress requires you to find your own host on which to install it. Website builders include hosting. Buy a domain name, connected to the builder, and hit the publish button – you’re done. Unless you have the time to learn FTP, you’ll want to stay away from WordPress. But again, both have benefits and costs. If you host on the website builder, you can’t download and change hosts. With WordPress, that’s easy.
Whether you choose a builder or a CMS like WordPress depends on your needs (or confidence). A standard website only needs a fast builder, saving you time and money. More detail and customization might need WordPress. The choice is ultimately up to the owner of this site, but a builder is the fastest, cheapest, and most user-friendly option.